Jose Aldo is a valuable commodity for the UFC after winning the UFC 156 main event against Frankie Edgar.
Aldo, UFC’s featherweight champion, scored arguably the biggest win of his MMA career by warding off Edgar on Feb. 2. But where does he go from here?
The iron is hot for the 26-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist. He has an opportunity now to headline more UFC cards and face some of the best competition the sport has to offer.
Those offers have already begun to come.
Let’s take a look at a couple of potential fights for Aldo that will further his career and backup his fearless reputation.
Anthony Pettis, Lightweight
Moments after UFC 156 concluded, UFC president Dana White received a text message from Anthony Pettis claiming he wanted to drop down to 145 to challenge Aldo for the featherweight title, according to the UFC (via Twitter):
Dana says that Anthony Pettis texted him 10 mins ago and said he wants to move down to 145 to fight Jose Aldo at featherweight.— UFC (@ufc) February 3, 2013
Aldo doesn’t back down from challenges and isn’t about to start now.
"It's up to Dana, but it's an interesting fight," Aldo said (h/t ESPN’s Brett Okamoto). "I train to fight the best. I respect them all. I think Pettis is close to a title shot in his own division."
Pettis (16-2), who is believed to be next in line for a shot at the lightweight title, is coming off of a UFC on Fox knockout of Donald Cerrone. That win lined him up to be the next in line for the title, pending the result of the Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez title bout.
Ricardo Lamas, Featherweight
Featherweight Ricardo Lamas (13-2) is potentially the first in line in the division for a shot at Aldo’s title. He’s coming off four straight wins, including a second-round TKO of Erik Koch on January 26’s UFC on Fox.
White said Lamas would fight another contender if Pettis drops to 145 to challenge Aldo, according to Okamoto. That contender may possible be Chan-Sung Jung.
Chan-Sung Jung, Featherweight
As mentioned, Chan-Sung Jung (13-3) is another top-tier contender in the featherweight division and could be in line for a shot at Aldo in the not-so-distant future.
His last three fights were all wins, his most recent win at UFC on Fuel TV in May 2012. The win, an upset of rising star Dustin Poirier, was named the fight of the year for 2012 by Sherdog.com.